A couple of weeks back Hill Holliday and Harvard Business Review hosted a roundtable discussion with a group of leading CMOs -- Joanne Bischmann (Harley Davidson), Jim McDowell (Mini), Pio Schunker (Coca-Cola), Scott Laporta (Levi Strauss) and Ken Dice (Discovery). Julia Kirby from HBR moderated. This was the topic setup:
Have we learned anything yet?
It's been five years since BMW Films launched. Two years since American Express teamed up with Seinfeld and Superman to create their "webisodes." And eighteen months since Burger King taught us a chicken could be subservient.
So what have we learned? Do we know enough about innovative media and marketing programs to separate the one-off stunts from the ideas that actually engage audiences and trigger sales? Or is it still all marketing R&D -- where we shoot first and review our ROI later?
It's a fascinating topic. Essentially -- what are the new rules for this new marketing landscape we find ourselves in? Or is it too early for rules? The discussion was pretty rich, and we'll plan to write about aspects of the conversation over the next several weeks here.
An idea to start: One of the panelists (I'll let you guess who) turned the entire conversation on its head early on: "If you had a great new product that you wanted to bring to market this year, I think you’d probably start with the proposition to introduce it with non-traditional media and then only reluctantly add traditional media back if it helped you accomplish that end."